AEK Athens grabbed an important first leg victory in the EuroCup second elimination round, beating Cholet Basket 91-82 at home.
Nikos Barlos scored 19 points for the Greek side, which got loads of help from their bench as Sasa Vasiljevic added 17 and Christos Tapoutos chipped in 16 points.
Vangelis Aggelou's team led by only four points with two minutes left but were able to pull away and set up a good result for the return leg next Tuesday.
Nando De Colo led all scorers with 21 points for Cholet, while Claude Marquis had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Eddie Basden chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and six steals in a losing cause.
The game started as a real see-saw affair as there were 12 lead changes in the first quarter. Vasiljevic scored the final four points of the period on foul shots to give the Greeks a 26-22 lead.
Aggelou's troops dominated the second quarter and went on a 14-5 run to open a 40-27 gap midway through the period. Marquis's three-point play pulled Cholet to within 47-38 but Vasiljevic buried a buzzer-beater three-pointer for a 50-38 AEK advantage at the break.
Barlos hit two foul shots for a 60-44 AEK cushion and it was still a 69-55 lead before De Colo knocked down a three-pointer and a lay-up to make it a 69-62 game going into the fourth.
Basden cut it to six points - 71-65 - with a three-pointer but Nikos Chatzis's lay-up re-established a 78-66 gap with six minutes left. De Colo hit again, Marquis converted a lay-up and Basden's three-pointer pulled the French to within 80-77 with four minutes to play.
Tapoutos answered with a three pointer and K'zell Wesson's foul shot made it 84-78 for AEK. Alan Wiggins cut it to four points, 84-80. But William Avery and Amara Sy both hit two foul shots and Avery converted a three-point play for a 91-81 lead.